Omer B. Abu Haraz
The untimely assassination of the Chadian President Idriss Déby last week will definitely have significant effect on the fragile western region of Sudan – Darfur.
Déby is a victim of tribalism. Most of the tribes in Chad are extended in West Sudan. For instance, the Déby’s Zagawa tribe has existed in Sudan and it is one of the most prominent tribes in Darfur.
Two important insurgent leaders of Sudan’s movements are Zagawa – Dr. Jibril Ibrahm, head of the biggest Armed Struggle Movement (Justice and Equality Movement); Mini Arko Minnawi, head of the Sudanese Liberation Army.
Late President Déby played an important role, be it positive or negative, in the protracted military insurgence in Darfur since 2003.
During the civil wars in Darfur, hundreds of thousands moved to Chad as refugees.
Unfortunately the death of Déby will have negative effect on the stability of the fragile region of Darfur. The insurgents who moved from Libyan borders in more than 450 armed Land Cruisers with troops from other tribes – Arabic and Gora’an – who were originally supporters of the ousted president Hussein Habri (ousted by Déby in 1990 in a coup).
The killing of Déby is still weird and it could be a well-planned plot and trap to serve the interests of the many rulers in Europe or even in the Arab region.
What makes it weird is the prompt formation of a military council headed by his son Mohamed Kaka plus ten other top brass officers.
This contradicts the constitution, which specifies that in the event of absence of the president, the speaker of the parliament rules for 60 days and calls for elections.
The military council suspended the constitution, imposed curfew and closed borders – typical features of a planned coup.
The opposition declared it will continue its armed struggle and move to the capital.
This is a new era of instability in Chad. Its effect in Sudan is detrimental and will be manifested by: exodus of civilians fleeing for lives from armed groups in efforts to recognize and create new logistics, etc…
Thus, a flow of people and arms will spill over to the fragile areas and cities of Darfur (Geneina, Fashir, and border camps for displaced people).
The insurgents have extended Arab and Gura’an families in Darfur. The unforeseen near future of Chad will definitely affect the stability of the western region of Sudan.
The military component of the government is advised and obliged to safeguard the western region of Darfur through: Intelligence, close surveillance, enforcement of the army garrisons on the Darfur–Chad border with heavy armament and air force.
What happened in the west borders of Sudan in Chad and the expected involvement of Sudan army in any degree should be a harbinger to a flow of armed and armored Chadians aggravating the situation of Darfur and impeding the expected process of assistance for Sudan’s economy after the Paris Conference next month.
One of the most important actions to be taken immediately is to ease the tension between us and Ethiopia and to be wisely pragmatic enough to opt for bilateral urgent talks with Ethiopian leaders to resolve the GERD and Fashaga issues in an integral deal:
– Power to Sudan and Food to Ethiopia through the equitable share of GERD power and Fashaga’s fertile agricultural land. Sudan cannot tolerate stretching the western and eastern ends as it will precariously weaken the center.